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    In recent weeks, the debate over the Great Lakes has focused largely on nuclear shipments. . Bruce Power Inc. has asked for permission to ship 16 scrapped power generators across the globe to a recycling plant in Sweden, passing through the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River along the way. Each generator contains radioactive material and amounts to the size of a school bus. In total, 1600 tons of radioactive waste will be transported by a 387-foot cargo vessel.

    The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has approved this proposal, making a "Special Arrangement" that exempts Bruce Power from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) regulations; the shipment contains more than 6 times the maximum amount of radioactivity allowed by IAEA. Some even argue it may be up to 50 times the allotted amount.

    Michael Keegan, chair of the Coalition for a Nuclear-Free Great Lakes, argues that such a shipment should not be allowed to pass through regions that account for drinking water for over 40 million people. He believes that once this shipment is allowed to be delivered, disregarding set regulations, many more shipments will follow in its path; it is only the beginning.

    Likewise, President of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, Dr. Gordon Edwards, stands on the idea that there is will be no public benefit from the shipping of this radioactive waste. By far the most vocal and opinionated on the matter is Marc Chenier of the Regroupement pur la surveillance du nucleaire. He was quoted as saying, "Politicians have to wake up and pass laws to protect the public and the environment from the deliberate dissemination of radioactive waste materials."

    In the end, it is inevitable that at some point this waste will end up in the water system; the multiple recent oil spills are a prime example of this leakage and lack of regulation. Bruce Power only has one thing to say, "...the timing of the shipment will be determined once all of the approvals are in place and conditions are determined to be optimal." For many the conditions will never be optimal and the shipments should never happen, while others see it as good for the environment as it is recycling.

     

     

    Sources:

    http://michiganmessenger.com/46338/canada-approves-great-lakes-nuclear-waste-shipment

    http://www.pej.org/html/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=8611&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0

    http://newstalkradiowhio.com/localnews/2011/02/canada-allows-radioactive-ship.html

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